Extracts

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Self-examination

swedenborg

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[1 of 2] Swedenborg (1688-1772, Sweden): primary subject "Self-knowledge and self-examination" (search under Inner Life/Practices)": source "Divine Providence": detail "Section 278a"
Evils cannot be removed unless they appear. This does not mean that man must do evils in order for them to appear, but that he must examine himself, his thoughts as well as his deeds, and see what he would do if he did not fear the laws and disrepute—see especially what evils he deems allowable in his spirit and does not regard as sins, for these he still does. To enable him to examine himself, man has been given understanding, and an understanding separate from his will, in order that he may know, comprehend, and acknowledge what is good and what is evil, likewise see the character of his will or what it loves and desires. To see this his understanding has been given higher and lower or interior and exterior thought, so as to see from the higher or interior what his will prompts in the lower or exterior thinking; he sees this quite as he does his face in a mirror. When he does and knows what is sin, he is able, on imploring the Lord's help, not to will it but to shun it, then to act contrary to it, if not freely, then by overcoming it through fighting it, and finally to become averse to it and abominate it. Then first does he perceive and also sense that evil is evil and good is good. This, now, is self-examination—to see one's evils, acknowledge them, confess them, and thereupon desist from them.

[2 of 2] Swedenborg (1688-1772, Sweden): primary subject "Purification, refinement" (search under Inner Life/Practices)": source "Apocalypse Explained, vol.3": detail "Section 580"
It must be observed that man cannot be purified from evils, and the falsities thence, unless the unclean things that are in him come forth even into the thought, and are there seen, acknowledged, discerned, and rejected.